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Walking Deliberately

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Decided, today, to do a little walking and take a cue from Colin Fletcher, a very practcal but sometimes almost mystic man who has hiked lots of miles and written a lot of books. I'm reading one now:

and am a devotee of the backpacking guide he wrote with Chip Rawlins:
Colin's advice is to take time to see what's around you, and to just let the walk unfold on its own without a lot of your own expectations driving things.

So, although very urban, today's walk was only loosely planned and did take advantage of the Custis Trail, one of the urban forest gems here in Arlington VA. Very early in the hike a totally unexpected find - likely from the drenching rains of the past few days: huge mushrooms outside the local library:

These guys are 5-6 inches in diameter and seemed to be only in this one spot.
Here's a closup showing how unusually thick they are - way thicker than a portabello in the grocery store:
. I left them in place. But they look like they'd make a meal, easy.

The Custis Trail is a mixed use trail, for bicycles and pedestrians. Blacktop, well signed, and with some short but steep hills, the trail attracts enthusiastic riders of skinny tire road bikes who attempt to make the best of speed possibilities. Having biked this part of the trail myself, I could only smile tolerantly as guys whizzed by enjoying the thrill of speed, and demonstrating their skill at not quite hitting slowpoke pedestrians.

Near my place, the Custis Trail parallels Interstate 66, a road with continuous, noisy traffic. But parts of the trail are behind one of those sound walls you see near interstates. I was totally amazed at how much the walls cut the noise of the road. By 90%, perhaps. If you're looking for forest solace next to a freeway, the barriers really help.

My own bikes are a mountain bike and a touring bike. Neither has a good body position for this pinched nerve problem I'm attempting to heal. However there is a shared bicycle program here called Capitol BikeShare that rents, inexpensively, bikes with an upright posture, like a comfort bike, from over 200 unmanned bike stations around the area. . I think that getting with this program will get me out on the roads and trails until I'm ready for the more forward posture of my own bikes. The nearest bike stand is only two blocks from my home.

So the walk was a good one, and added 4 miles to my Virtual Appalachian Trail Hike. Nice day. Keeps me moving!

Keep safe --

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Loved the pics of the mushrooms! Wow, those are really huge! I love virtually hiking the AT trail also. Enjoy your walks! I really love to hike around my area, in southern New Mexico, in the Gila National forest. The trail are trickier than the trail you describe in your area. I've also been on trails that are so close, just feet away, from the town or city noises but you don't hear them and feel like you are really out away from everything. Love those trails.
    1690 days ago
  • NWFL59
    Glad you enjoyed several aspects of your walk and are continuing to feel better. emoticon emoticon
    1722 days ago
    There is SO much to be said for walking, not the least of which you shared: noticing the world around us, especially nature! Cool to see picks of the bike share in action...may it flourish!

    1723 days ago
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